Trump Hails Progress on COVID-19 Vaccine, Says It Could Be Ready in Weeks
President Donald Trump has provided the public an update about the COVID-19 vaccine as cases surge across the country during his first public speech since Election Day.
Trump, who is still not conceding in the election, spoke from the Rose Garden as the nation sets another record-high for confirmed cases of COVID-19.
He said a vaccine would be distributed in "a matter of weeks" to vulnerable populations. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to grant the said vaccine the needed emergency approvals before it could be widely distributed to the general public.
Public health experts expressed worry over Trump's refusal to take an aggressive action regarding the pandemic or coordinating with the team of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Health experts said this would only aggravate the problems on coronavirus and swift distribution of the vaccines next year, according to an Associated Press report. Biden has been declared the winner of the presidential race by most major media organizations.
COVID-19 Cases Surging
States are now implementing new restrictions amid the rise of new COVID-19 cases in the country.
Trump asked Americans to remain "vigilant." However, he said he is not considering a "lockdown." He also appeared to acknowledge that the decision would not be his much longer, as AP News reported.
"This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully whatever happens in the future, who knows, which administration it will be I guess time will tell, but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown," Trump noted in a report.
Meanwhile, Biden has also not discussed implementing a nationwide shutdown. However, he called Trump to take necessary actions to curb the spread of the virus.
In a statement, Biden said the crisis does not respect dates on the calendar, adding that the spread of COVID-19 is accelerating now.
Trump maintained that the vaccines would arrive in "a few weeks." He noted that they were already prepared and only waiting for the vaccine's approval, and it would be immediately given "to high-risk individuals."
However, there is no guarantee that the leading Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine could rapidly get an emergency use authorization. There is also no information yet if Pfizer already had large vaccines stockpile ready to be distributed and shipped to certain populations.
Trump took no question from reporters during his first public speech on Friday. He has not answered any questions since Election Day.
The White House recently become the focus of yet another outbreak after the U.S. Secret Service reported a significant number of COVID-19 cases.
Many attributed this to Trump's campaign rallies in the past weeks, according to an official. The president's aggressive travel has taken its toll on his staff and protectors as well.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump is not even at the point of conceding to Biden.
Trump told Geraldo Rivera, a Fox News' host, that he would acknowledge defeat only after using all of his legal options. Rivera said that Trump was a realist and told him that he would do the right thing.
Trump earlier filed numerous lawsuits on some battleground states to hinder certifications of vote tallies. The campaign team has filed complaints on the grounds of alleged widespread voters fraud and deadline extension for voters, among others.
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